Feature Play: War & Peace
Based on Tolstoy’s novel of the same name, War & Peace is a six-part story about three youths who decide to change the world to be a better place. This takes place in Russia of 1805, when Napoleon Bonaparte’s French army has just invaded Austria and has started growing ever closer to Russian borders. Five Russian aristocratic families have their lives flipped over due to the ever-rising conflict caused by the war.
This series was directed by Tom Harper, with Paul Dano, Lily James, and James Norton cast in the leading roles. It’s a wonderful classic and it gives viewers a unique view of the events that occurred in Europe during this war.
Napoleon’s army was dominating most territories under Europe, and would have nearly gotten Russia under his control if not for the aristocratic families getting in his way. Thus it is the worst time for a love triangle to evolve between three young members of Russia’s leading families.
It’s a spellbinding story about morals and frailty. Their emotions can lead them to violence and infidelity. It portrays a human depiction of fictional characters, which is admirable for any show.
The wartime aspect wasn’t emphasized as much as it was in the book, and most of the era’s historical scenery gave us a view of the “Peace” indicated on the title. The characterization and script was also held true to Tolstoy’s original novel, and most fans couldn’t stop giving praises about how all of them were depicted accurately.
The main characters are not perfect, and none of them are trying to be. However, it idealizes the concept of heroism in a time when heroes are most needed by the people. It empathizes with conflict and heroism in each person’s life, and allows the viewers to sympathize with them. There are no plot twists, but at the same time, you can never expect anything from this story. Each action opens up new possibilities, and this is what makes it so amazing.
However, the series does have its flaws. There will be long parts where you may get annoyed with the story’s flow. Sometimes we felt like skipping past the internal dialogue and conflicts of a singular character.
However, it does not apologize for being what it is. That is what allows the story to create great highs and lows for all of us to appreciate. Some may prefer the previous portrayal of this classic, but this version uses modern artistry along with this era’s special effects to produce amazing results.
All in all, it is a worthy show to watch. The story has depth and the politics can get pretty intense for any interested viewer. Give it a watch and as always let us know what you think.